Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Harley CVO Limited Motorcycles Leak Engine Coolant.

FLHTKSE_AFHarley-Davidson Inc. was hit Thursday August 28, 2014 with a putative class action in Illinois federal court, accusing the company of breaching a 24-month, unlimited-mileage written warranty by not repairing an engine defect in certain motorcycle models a buyer says causes the coolant to leak constantly.

The suit alleges the motor of the 2014 Rushmore FLHTKSE CVO Limited motorcycles have a design defect that affects the performance of its engine and associated coolant systems. “CVO Limited owners and lessors have been damaged because they possess a motorcycle with a design defect which cannot be repaired as required under “Harley-Davidson’s 24 month, unlimited mileage written warranty,” the complaint said.

Lead plaintiff Robert Okon says he purchased a new 2014 CVO Limited motorcycle from a dealership in Bloomington, Illinois, in September that came with the 24-month warranty, covering parts including the engine and cooling systems. But just a couple of weeks after purchasing the motorcycle, coolant began to leak from in and around the engine and coolant system, the complaint says.

The dealer attempted to correct the coolant leak pursuant to the written warranty and returned the vehicle to its owner, the suit says. However, the problem wasn’t remedied, and Okon had to return his CVO Limited for repairs on several occasions because it “constantly” leaks coolant, the complaint alleges.

“For each of these times when Mr. Okon’s CVO Limited has been brought in for repair of the coolant leak, the Harley-Davidson dealerships have been unsuccessful in repairing the leak,” the complaint said.

Okon brought the suit on behalf of a putative class of all people who purchased or leased the allegedly defective CVO Limited motorcycles, according to the complaint. He says Harley-Davidson has been notified about the coolant leaks, but the company hasn’t been able to come up with a permanent fix for the defect, forcing its dealerships and repair centers to provide temporary repairs including refilling coolant levels, even though the warranty requires Harley-Davidson to permanently repair all defects.

“We investigated this matter and discovered that there are other disgruntled persons who allege that the same problems exist with this new model Harley they purchased,” said Vive DiTommaso, Okon’s attorney.

The suit is Robert Okon v. Harley-Davidson, Inc., case number 1:14-cv-06658, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

35 Responses to “Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Harley CVO Limited Motorcycles Leak Engine Coolant.”

  1. 1 Kirk Perry Aug 30th, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Liquid-cooled Harley karma.

  2. 2 Foster Aug 30th, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Long time I hear Rushmore bikes having coolant issues. True or not, ;et’s see what happens now. A big recall? Again?

  3. 3 Rodent Aug 30th, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Air cooled don’t leak!

  4. 4 Mr Dick Aug 30th, 2014 at 10:14 am

    And that’s why I will keep my 2010. Gonna get a street glide for my daily ride, and keep the CVO for trips, Sturgis, etc. At least when I stop to take a whiz in the middle of nowhere, there won’t be a big green pool of antifreeze to greet me.

  5. 5 Mike Greenwald Aug 30th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Is this the death of the “Wet-Head”?

  6. 6 SIGFREED Aug 30th, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Not so cool…

  7. 7 Shifter Aug 30th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Another opportunity for Victory & Indian to take from Harley. A Harley CVO Ultra Limited is around 40 grands and it leaks? Imagine you buy a brand new Mercedes or BMW and it leaks out of the showroom…

  8. 8 Nitschke Aug 30th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    What’s the difference between a class action suite and a regular suite?

    From what I understand, HD remedied this w/ a program notifying owners bring your bike in and have it repaired. With this they replaced the filler neck on the vehicle.

    In this case it appears this person has a lemon and should provide him with a new motorcycle or a cash payment for the motorcycle.

  9. 9 Jr Aug 30th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    This is why I left Harley no water did not need it for 110 years

  10. 10 Jim Murphy Aug 30th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    It’s a shame but HD takes the easy route. Instead of developing a new liquid engine they just convert the old twin cam an outdated power plant which should have been retired well over a decade ago.
    Buy a Victory or an Indian instead.

  11. 11 nicker Aug 30th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    If HD is out of their element with water-cooled scooters…. Ya gotta wonder how much trouble they’ll be in with an Electric bike….


  12. 12 SS Aug 31st, 2014 at 1:04 am

    2014CVO, 8800km’s and no leaks. Lucky Maybe!!!

  13. 13 morpion Aug 31st, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    big big story for a leak that can be fix i am sure ,by an other dealer mechanic,,,,,,,,,,

  14. 14 richard Aug 31st, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t think Harley is attempting to take “the easy way out”. I think they are simply looking for a practical compromise between the higher output 110 ” engine, which runs hotter than the 96″ and 103″ engines. Cooling the heads, especially around the exhaust valves makes sense in the short term. Also, we recognize that the v-rod has been water-cooled for years and the new street models are also. It appears to me that if they decided to go water cooled, they already have the technology to do so if they so choose.

    As we all know, many of us old guys like the air cooled engines, even with their “performance” shortcomings and they do not want to alienate that longstanding “base”. Over time I see them having BOTH in their lineup to satisfy the broader customer preferences.

  15. 15 rebel Aug 31st, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    just drain the coolant system and stop the pumps, short term fix. It will run as cool as the previous 110’s if tuned properly. No big deal, just calm down and take a breath.

  16. 16 BobS Aug 31st, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Twin cam Twin cooled Twin crap. Just stroke the Revolution to 1700cc’s and call it good.

  17. 17 JackS Sep 1st, 2014 at 7:50 am

    40% of the complaints filed with the NHTSA on the 2014 Harley-Davidson model year were related to coolant leaks on the Twin-Cooled motor.

  18. 18 Greeko Sep 1st, 2014 at 7:54 am

    HD doing great service to Victory & Indian.

  19. 19 HD's since 69 Sep 1st, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Maybe a design flaw, but it happens. More of a let down is how HARLEY DEALERS treat there customers. I love Harley’s but hate the Harley Dealer Culture

  20. 20 Woody's Sep 1st, 2014 at 10:40 am

    All mfrs have design problems (or material, or assembly, etc) but it is very troubling that after years of losing buyer confidence with cam chain tensioner issues that they couldn’t even reverse-engineer a first year Goldwing to see how it functions? The biggest issue I’ve had with Harley for years is that they just don’t seem to use their amazing market share and ability to keep selling the same basic thing over and over, to fine tune that recycled concept into a Rolex.

  21. 21 Tucci Sep 1st, 2014 at 10:41 am

    If more suits were brought against the MoCo, the design defects that carry on from year to year would have been addressed….Shame on you MoCo, you are willingly giving the competition more and more business. Almost seems they are trying to put themselves out of business.

  22. 22 fredp Sep 1st, 2014 at 11:10 am

    EPA EPA EPA!!! Does H-D REALLY have a choice to go backwards to air cooled? Geez, this is not rocket science to go water cooled.

  23. 23 Tobby Sep 1st, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Indian built a ground up air cooled engine that meets all current and projected EPA regulations. By all indications it runs cool and performs well. Why can’t Harley do the same?

  24. 24 Rider Sep 1st, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Harley can do the same…but why should they when lots of people are willing to pay big dollars for very old technology. In fact when they do try to move the ball forward, most of their extraordinarily loyal customer base rejects it. Seems to me they could build an amazing bike using the V-rod engine (a proven water cooled engine) but it would likely be rejected. Harley has done an amazing job of creating this loyal customer base (up there with Coke and Apple)……now they have to decide how they can move forward without destroying it. My guess is they will build modern bikes (e.g., the Street) without regard for what the loyal base thinks to start to capture a new customer base of younger riders, while they try to nurse the old technology along inch by inch to keep the loyalists happy. They clearly need to do both as the loyal base is disappearing (aging out).

  25. 25 takehikes Sep 2nd, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Frankenstein fix to a hot motor. water cooling is great when designed in…not added on.

  26. 26 mkv Sep 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Couldnt you just return it and go for the lemon law route? Since they unsuccessfully repaired the same problem multiple times?

  27. 27 daddyeo Sep 2nd, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I had a stalling problem on my 2006 Triumph Bonneville in which, the dealer couldn’t fix the problem either and was nasty about having to fix it when I came in the 3rd time!
    3 years later; ten thousand words written by me or “on my behalf” and the dealer / manufacturer settled on what I wanted from the beginning…what I paid for the bike. Of course, it cost them $65K to pay me $9500!
    Lemon laws work, just not very quickly. Most people “give up” on the process before it’s completed and that’s what the dealers and manufacturers want you to do. Just hang in there and don’t give up!

  28. 28 Chris Sep 2nd, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    only some of the touring bikes are water-cooled, not all. The Road King and Street Glide are not. The Classics can be but aren’t unless ordered that way. The design is stupid… colling the heads is not the best way to cool the engine. You need to lower the core temp in the case like the oil coolers did/do. Why they decided to run a water cooling system to the heads via fairing lowers is ridiculous when the couldve just re-used the oil cooler as a water cooler/radiator approach from the start.

    Its their own fault they’re being sued and they deserve it. The run fine as air cooled. if it were all EPA hwy arent they all water cooled?

    That said. I will never buy a water cooled bike with this design and I’ve had nothing but HDs for 10+ years.

  29. 29 Brett Sep 3rd, 2014 at 10:54 am

    wow…I guess Indian owners are far more patient. When a fix was needed for issues on the 2009 – 2013 bikes…..owners waited. I guess they should have filed a law suit instead of waiting for the band aid fixes

  30. 30 Mike Sep 5th, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I can tell you from a problematic Italian bike that we bought, Lemon Law does not apply to motorcycles in PA; it’s only for cars. That may have been the issue with the plaintiff’s home state.

  31. 31 Grey Beard Sep 5th, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Damn……… I’d be pissed too if I spent about $40k to feed my ego and then only be embarrassed over and over.

    And they thought the AMF era was bad.

  32. 32 wkgclss Sep 5th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    16K miles on my 2014 CVO Limited and not a single problem or leak. I am fortunate to have a dealership that understands that good customer service brings repeat business. This is the fourth I have purchased from this dealer and they have always taken excellent care of my bike and me.

  33. 33 rag9090 Oct 4th, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    22,000+ on my 2014 Limited CVO without ever having a problem with the water cooling.

  34. 34 SAMBER Oct 21st, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    second time around for my bike lost all coolant coming back from fla.. bike is still 4 hours away and I gotta go get it!

  35. 35 Big head Nov 16th, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Just purchased one. Hope it doesn’t have issues. Owned hd for 32 yrs love the bikes

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Cyril Huze